EU, Chinese leaders will meet in Brussels. The EU will tell China not to help Russia. I doubt they’ll listen.
Vladimir Putin said Russia would stop going after Mariupol if Ukraine surrenders the city. The people of Mariupol, an important port city, refuse to surrender.
Russia promised a ceasefire so the remaining civilians can leave. To the shock of no one, Russia is still shelling the city.
EU Will Tell China Not to Help Russia
So EU and Chinese leaders will meet in Brussels on Friday. This should be fun:
EU and Chinese leaders will meet for a first summit in two years on Friday with Brussels keen for assurances from Beijing that it will neither supply Russia with arms nor help Moscow circumvent Western sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine.
In uncommonly open language, EU officials close to the preparations of the summit said any help given to Russia would damage China’s international reputation and jeopardise relations with its biggest trade partners — Europe and the United States.
The presidents of the European Commission and European Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, will hold virtual talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and later President Xi Jinping.
An EU official said China’s stance towards Russia would be the “million-dollar question” on Friday. Another pointed out that over a quarter of China’s global trade was with the bloc and the United States last year, against just 2.4% with Russia.
Russia Taking Troops From Georgia to Ukraine
The UK claimed Russia is moving its forces in Georgia to Ukraine:
The UK’s Ministry of Defence says some Russian forces currently deployed in Georgia will be sent to reinforce troops in Ukraine.
It’s the latest sign that Moscow’s game plan on the ground is changing, five weeks into a largely stalled invasion.
The move is “indicative of the unexpected losses it has sustained during the invasion”, the ministry said.
It added that some of the redeployed forces are expected to be reorganised into three battalion tactical groups for combat.
Ukraine said Russia has not observed a ceasefire in Mariupol:
But Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said there had been “no ceasefire” in Mariupol, and that Russian forces had not fully opened a route for evacuations to Ukraine-held territory. Earlier ceasefires to allow civilians to escape the city on Ukraine’s south-east coast have collapsed.
“The enemy continues to destroy, with air strikes, the remnants of infrastructure left in Mariupol, trying to destroy all living things,” Vereshchuk said on Thursday.
The people left behind have no food, water, electricity, and hardly any shelters since March 1:
Vereshchuk said Russia had only opened a humanitarian corridor to Berdyansk, a Russian-controlled city 80km from Mariupol, suggesting this would prevent transport from reaching the besieged city and taking civilians out. She added that 100,000 people, including the elderly, children and disabled, required immediate evacuation.
“Russia made a commitment and guaranteed that it would continue to take people out today,” Vereshchuk said. “We will see in the evening what the results of such commitments and guarantees will be.”
Earlier on Thursday she said 45 buses had been set to evacuate people but that the evacuation “depends exclusively and completely on Russia, because there are no Ukrainian troops there and these are the commitments that Russia has made to the world”.
Later in the day, Vereshchuk said the “occupiers” had not allowed the buses to go through Berdyansk, thwarting efforts to get them to Mariupol.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.